I thought prison would be the worst thing that would happen to me, in fact I thought it would be the end of me. Perhaps that’s one reason why God spared me because I wasn’t sure I could give him the glory. Before my Grand Jury decision, as in the day before I told God I surrendered all to him, that no matter what I would praise him. I said it but wasn’t sure how I would live it out. I had already built an invisible prison around myself, bound by shame and guilt, bitterness and fear. Jesus came to set us all free. No more chains, no more bondage, labels or bars.
John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
1 Peter 2:16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom to cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Fast forward a year later and another family several states away experienced their own accident involving fatality. A young man (17) was driving his grandmother’s car with his friend and younger uncle when they lost control. An innocent life was lost in that accident. This family had to navigate their own trauma under persecution, trust God in new ways and humble themselves before their church family and community.
And God has shown himself faithful! When I heard Esperanza say that her son Elias is thriving in prison, I began to weep. We are deeply saddened and always will be that a life was lost but we rejoice in the fact that the lost souls in prison will hear the gospel, people facing circumstances like these have hope that their story can bring beauty from the ashes! Elias encourages me! I am honored to be a prayer warrior for him and all that God has for him after he serves his sentence. I hope you enjoy this episode and get involved in local jail and prison ministries if you feel moved. I can’t wait to see the testimony continue to unfold, what a celebration there will be when Elias is home and in heaven with all who have been touched and given their life to Christ! Amen!
Go Shorty, God’s got you!
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(Photo credit: Esperanza Arellano, Central New Mexico Correction Facility, thank you letters from inmates, thousands of Easter goodie bags for inmates, Zoom visits with Elias)